Tuesday, April 22, 2014

EASTER MESSAGE FROM BARU BIAN



Suffering. A strong word which every human being understands and has experienced at some point in his or her life. This Easter, allow me to look at a side of human existence that is prevalent in the world today. Our brothers and sisters in many parts of the world are suffering; either in forms of physical pain, modern day forms of slavery or even mental and especially spiritual suffering. As Christians, we cannot ignore these sufferings even though we know that God’s will is sovereign. We must reach out to help in whatever way we can.  Even more so, allow me to draw you to the suffering of our fellow Sarawakians.  There is not a single Sarawakian who has not faced suffering or is still facing suffering. What are we doing about it? What are you doing about it? This is my challenge to all of us – the time is now to reach out to those nearest us whom we know are suffering. 

However, let us ask ourselves why is there suffering in this world? Man’s fallen nature has resulted in sin, and sin gives birth to suffering. Nevertheless, take heart. For as the letter from the Apostle Paul to the Romans in Chapter 5, verse 8, he said, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In simple terms, this means that although we suffer because of sin, and we are all sinners, we have a way out. That way out is Jesus Christ. Instead of paying for the price of sin ourselves, Jesus decided to take our place and paid the price on our behalf. The cost? His death. He died on our behalf so that we can enter God’s presence and enjoy eternal salvation, justified by the horrific death on the Cross by Jesus. But…there is a catch. A simple one. A sinner must repent of his or her sin and ask Jesus to take over his or her life. This is not a difficult thing. Conversely, it is the easiest thing to do – to surrender our sins, our fears, our hopes, our failings, our failures, our anger, our frustrations, our cares, our worries and all our burdens to Him. Why? Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11.30) That is why we call it Good Friday.

In Sarawak, the state officially recognises Good Friday and has declared it a public holiday. Allow me to take this opportunity to remind all of us that Good Friday is not just another public holiday.  It is a day when we remember and reflect on the great and ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for all mankind by dying for all of us and paying our sins. But that is not the end of the story. Having died, Jesus, because he is God, rose again three days later on Easter. His rising was and continues to be His victory over death and sin and especially Satan, the father of lies.

Talking about the state, Sarawak is a secular state where we have freedom of religion. In fact, Malaysia is a secular country as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution. Not only is our country a secular state, we have absolute freedom to worship and express our religious beliefs within moderation. I am not saying this as a personal opinion. I am merely quoting the Federal Constitution which is quite clear about the position of Islam as a religion for ceremonial purposes but that the state itself is not an Islamic state.

However, certain quarters have resorted to extremism. And I am not merely pointing the finger at the very few and isolated Islamists who have a siege mentality and believe that they are under attack but I am also reminding Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and all other religious citizens of Malaysia to adopt a moderate approach. Extremism in any form is unacceptable. No religion preaches extremism.  Religious freedom should prevail in Malaysia. And this is my hope and message this Easter for Malaysia – that God will have mercy on us and our nation, and that we, sinners all, return to Him with repentant hearts and renew our relationship with Him.

My family and I wish all Christians a blessed Easter. Christ is Risen!   

Baru Bian
ADUN N70 Ba’ Kelalan
20 April 2014

How Jamilah Spilt The Beans On Sakto’s Money EXCLUSIVE

How Jamilah Spilt The Beans On Sakto’s Money EXCLUSIVE

Multi-million dollar complexes in Ottawa Canada belonging to Sakto
Multi-million dollar complexes in Ottawa Canada belonging to Sakto
In recent years the Taib family have worked hard to conceal the sources of income behind their series of multi-million dollar property companies in Canada, the US and the UK.

However, we can now reveal devastating new archive information, unearthed by the Swiss NGO, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), which shows that Taib’s own daughter Jamilah admitted in press interviews back in 1989 that Sakto’s investors were from the ‘Pacific Rim’ including Malaysia.

She also disclosed that ‘the Chairman flies in from Malaysia twice a year for meetings”!
Canada’s Ottawa Citizen newspaper conducted an interview with Jamilah as part of a major feature on Sakto, describing the company as the biggest foreign property investor in Ottawa at that time. The paper described Jamilah as a woman drawing on her international connections to become successful at a very young age, thanks to undisclosed Asian investors.
It’s that international network of contacts and breadth of knowledge that helped her [Jamilah Taib], at 28 years old, land the presidency of Ottawa-based Sakto Development Corp., a firm that specializes in offshore investment in Canada.
Sakto is a company that represents the growing number of Pacific Rim businessmen who are bringing their dollars and expertise to Canada…..Industry spokesmen say Sakto is probably the biggest and most visible firm in Ottawa 
[Ottawa Citizen,17th January 1989]
This early acknowledgement clearly contrasts with later claims by Sakto and Jamilah’s husband, Sean (Hisham) Murray, that the company was a Murray family firm, which had nothing to do with Taib’s money.

This was the claim promoted on websites, which were later pulled down after the Murrays were exposed by the UK media for hiring a PR firm to conduct dirty tricks against Sarawak Report on Wikipedia.
Murray family company was the cover up term used until we exposed the truth.
Wikpedia websites [2010] were misleading – Sakto and Ridgeford were not  ’Murray family companies’
And it was also the line taken by Sean’s cousin Christopher Murray, the manager of Ridgeford Properties in London, who repeated the claim in an interview with Sarawak Report back in 2010:
My Dad started the firm!
My Dad started the firm!
Murray - “we [Sakto/ Ridgeford Properties] are a family-owned firm”
SR ”Is that the Murray family?”
Murray “Yes”
SR ‘So was it your father then who started it all up?”
Murray ”My father and my cousin’s father. They started off as an architect’s practice and went into property development” [Recorded interview with Sarawak Report]
Later, the Murrays hired lawyers to threaten Sarawak Report and ohers and these also claimed:
“Sakto, Sakti and Ridgeford are not and have never been funded by Mr Taib Mahmud….Should this allegation be made, our clients will sue you without further notice”. [legal letter from London lawyers Mishcon de Reya, January 2011]
Legal letters send on behalf of the Murrays denied Taib's money was in the firm
Legal letters send on behalf of the Murrays denied Taib’s money was in the firm

However, incorporation documents in Canada clearly show that Sakto was founded by Taib Mahud’s own brother and key business partner Onn back in 1983, along with Jamilah and her brother Abu Bekir Taib, who were both students in Canada at that time.

In March 2011 Taib himself admitted that the Murrays and their lawyers had been lying over their denials, when he gave an interview acknowledging after all that he had given Jamilah “some money” to start up Sakto when she was a student in Canada:
“It started 20 to 30 years ago.  I gave money to my daughter because I was resigning from Federal Government.  I got a gratuity and gave some money to her to start a new business, it thrived… It is a property development company… It got successful and from successful they go to do business in London”. [Taib 22/03/2011 http://realsarawak.blogspot.com]
However, it seems the Chief Minister was still being far from open about the real truth.  He sought to imply thar Jamilah had got rich by subsequently buying and selling property at a profit and then building office blocks after a space of just a few years.

The title of his video interview said it all “Jamilah’s Business in Canada is Successful, Because She is Good”, it boasts. No mention of flows of cash from Pacific rim investors.

Jamilah let the cat out of the bag right at the start

But the articles obtained by BMF confirm in Jamilah’s own words the on-going nature of Far Eastern investment in her company, far more than a one-off starter payment from Daddy’s pension.  At that stage she was only recently married to Sean Murray and she was still the main figure-head and spokesman for Sakto.
'The Chairman flies in from Malaysia twice a year'
‘The Chairman flies in from Malaysia twice a year’

Speaking January 17th 1989 to the newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen she gave away a series of significant details, including the fact that the Chairman of the company flew in twice a year from Malaysia to check on the investments.

The article makes clear who controlled Sakto – and it wasn’t Jamilah or Sean Murray.  In “control” were investors from the ‘Pacific Rim’, in particular Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia and the article explains that Jamilah, aged 29, was someone they could “trust”.
“The group of 10 or 12 investors who control Sakto, Taib-Murray doesn’t like to say how many, are looking for a secure, long-term investment for their money. And someone they trust to handle it for them.
All are from the Pacific Rim, Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and rarely come to Ottawa, except the chairman who flies in from Malaysia twice a year for meetings.
”They want a very careful investment, a sure thing, which is what the Ottawa market is like,” she said. ”The Toronto market moves too fast, too risky for them when they’re so far away.”[Ottawa Citizen Jan 17th 1989]
The article by the paper’s business correspondent also notes that Sakto was by far the biggest foreign investment in Ottawa at that time.  He gives some insight into why outside investors chose a certain place to put their money:
Taib Mahmud - the controlling chairman behind Sakto?
Taib Mahmud – the controlling chairman behind Sakto?
“Steve Gordon, president of Regional Realty Group, said there’s nothing ”magical” about what attracts foreign investments. Investors either look to markets they know or to someone they know who does. And that someone is invariably a colleague, friend or family member who’s already here.”
Could it be that the Malaysian ‘Chairman’ of Sakto was following the same principle? If so, was the reason he could trust Jamilah indeed because she was a family member?
So much for a Murray family firm!

The paper goes on:
Many industry sources say it’s difficult to track how much money is being channelled into Ottawa because many deals are done ”in trust” on behalf of a group of investors
[See the full Ottawa Citzen article 17th January 1989]

This was not the only foray by Jamilah Taib into the Ottawa media.  Far from it!  As one of the city’s richest women and as president of one of the largest property companies Jamilah has been written about all the time.

For example, in anther later article for the Ottawa Citizen 29th Dec 2001 the super-wealthy Jamilah Taib is gushingly depicted as a globe-trotting jet-setter, decked out in furs and jewels.

The article describes her as flying back to join her family for business in Malaysia!
Jamilah Murray, 41, president of Sakto Development Corp., a commercial real estate company and the mother of four, is not only strikingly attractive, but a jet setter who travels and works in Paris, London and San Francisco, where she likes to shop, as well as Malaysia, where she joins her family for business and holidays. “There are never enough occasions here to get really dressed up, but I dress up all the time anyway,” she says, whether it’s a leather and fur-trimmed suit from Paris or the exquisitely colourful national dress and jewels of her homeland.
Doing business with family? Jamilah and Aunty Raziah in full jewellery
Doing business with family? Jamilah and Aunty Raziah in full jewellery

So much for Taib’s claims that his family do not do business in Sarawak and that Jamilah is only involved in passive investments with her 84 companies in the state.  Perhaps she is too busy shopping to actually control her business interests, but we venture to suggest that the controller is her Daddy Taib Mahmud and the chief office boy is her husband Sean Murray.

Fur and jewels - Jamilah always finds occasions to dress up!
Fur and jewels – Jamilah always finds occasions to dress up!
We will bring more from the Ottawa archives – keep reading Sarawak Report.

~ Sarawak Report

Sarawak’s Land Grab Laws Must Go!

Sarawak’s Land Grab Laws Must Go!
Numpang Suntai and illegally felled logs from his community lands in Sebangan
Numpang Suntai and illegally felled logs from his community lands in Sebangan
Now that BN have got around to ditching Taib they need to ditch his unconstitutional land grab laws too.

The former Chief Minister passed a series of amendments to Sarawak’s Land Codes, in order to help himself to lands belonging to the native communities.

One such change in May 2000 obliterated native rights to their traditional pulau galau and menoa lands.

This has been found time and again by the Federal Courts to be unconstitutional.

As Land & Survey Department documents released by Sarawak Report have clearly shown, the vast majority of the lands seized thanks to these illegal amendments were handed to members of Taib’s own family or to his cronies in politics and business (who were expected to pay him fat kickbacks).

Take the case in the latest ruling this week by the Appeal Court against the State of Sarawak, involving the Iban communities of Sebangan.

Raziah’s land grab in Sebangan
Quality Concrete's Annual Report 2009 - Taib's sister Raziah already had acquired lands amounting to the area of Singapore.
Quality Concrete’s Annual Report 2009 – Taib’s sister Raziah already had acquired lands amounting to the area of Singapore.

It was Sarawak Report who first brought this particular disgraceful land grab to wide attention, when in 2010 we reported from the area and revealed that Taib’s own sister Raziah Mahmud was behind the snatch in her role as a director and major shareholder of the company Quality Concrete.
This poor community were tempted and divided by the paltry payments offered by Raziah's company - just RM250 for wood worth billions
This poor community were tempted and divided by the paltry payments offered by Raziah’s company – just RM250 for wood worth billions

In typical Taib family style Raziah owed her position and her shares in Quality Concrete to the fact that as a Taib family member she could swing the concessions they were after from the Land & Survey Department and so-called Land Custody and Development Authority, both dominated by Taib.

Without so much as a by your leave to the local community these criminals had set about logging one of the last remaining virgin forests of the region on the basis of a ‘provisional’ licence obtained to turn the area into an oil palm plantation.

And when the people protested the greedy billionairess had the cheek to offer them just RM250 per family to surrender up the heritage of their children and grandchildren.

There are so many cases – gangster tactics

When Sarawak Report went to the area to report on the problem we were told, there was nothing to be done as there were so many similar cases across the state and powerful people were involved.
Classic tactics - a mystery fire prompted the arrest of the protest leaders
Classic tactics – a mystery fire prompted the arrest of the protest leaders
However, the local people were not to be daunted.  Led by Numpang Suntai (brother to the Radio Free Sarawak presenter Christina Suntai) and some brave headmen they started a legal case and demanded the logging stop.

It was at that point that traditional gangster tactics kicked in.

A mysterious fire was started at the logging camp and immediately the police sprang into action on information from the company that Suntai and other leading protestors were responsible.

The former Shell executive, his cousin the NGO leader Nicholas Mujah and three other upstanding leaders of their community were all rounded up and arrested and thrown into jail wearing prison suits.  Fortunately for them they were able to rely on the legal representation of land rights lawyer Baru Bian and the trumped up charges were soon dismissed.

However, there are many others who have suffered similar treatment defending their lands in Sarawak and who have not been so lucky under Taib’s gangster government.
Scene of the mystery fire - logging camp at Sebangan
Scene of the mystery fire – logging camp at Sebangan

Bian took Quality Concrete and the State of Sarawak to court and, in what was fast becoming a celebrated case, Quality Concrete lost in the High Court and the villagers won!

Shortly after, it is noted that Raziah slunk off the board of Quality Concrete, although she has continued to use the Quality Concrete building in Kuching to house the offices for her many, many other land grabbing companies.

But, lo and behold, instead of accepting defeat, the State of Sarawak (ie ex Chief Minister Taib Mahmud) appealed the case, as he has time and again with all the cases he has been losing under the Sarawak Land Code.

And, as with eight previous similar cases, when this scandalous matter finally reached a ruling in the Court of Appeal the court confirmed the original judgement in favour of the villagers.

Quite simply, it has been upheld time and again in the Court of Appeal and also in the highest Federal Court that the land grabs performed under Sarawak’s amended land codes violate the constitutional rights of the native peoples of Sarawak.
“Once again the court of Appeal has affirmed our long held views on the concept of NCR over land. I hope against hope the new CM TanSri Adenan Satem will be humble enough to depart from his predecessor’s stubborn refusal to recognise the concept of Pemakai Menua and Pulau Galau as NCL in Sarawak. And to take a brave and pragmatic stand not to appeal against such a decision now and in the future” [Baru Bian speaking on his latest land rights victory]
Yet the stubborn old man Taib has continued to appeal each case and to play for time, while his crony companies get a free hand to lay waste what is left of Sarawak’s forests and native lands.

It must stop!
Handing over - Taib is no longer the man to make the decisions and Adenan should stop doing his bidding.
Handing over – Taib is no longer the man to make the decisions and Adenan should stop doing his bidding.
When a law is repeatedly found to be unconstitutional it is the duty of the State Government to repeal or amend it, so that it abides by the constitution and no longer engenders illegal acts.

Taib Mahmud is a man who studied the law only to consider himself to be above it and like the obstinate old man that he is, he has refused to budge.

But his successor must now show he can do better.  Adenan Satem has so far proved himself to be little more that a puppet to his relative the new Governor, but on this matter he must insist on letting reason prevail.

Of course, Taib fears that opportunities to grab more territories will be missed for his family and that he will lose the political power that comes from controlling the handing out of lands.

There is also the problem that victims will be costly to compensate and that lands which have been sold on by his relatives and cronies to other companies will now have to be returned to their rightful owners and those companies will want compensation too!

Sarawak's logs are a questionable product.
Sarawak’s logs are a questionable product.

Nevertheless, a government must do the right thing when it has been found to be a fault.

And by handing back lands the State Government will be benefitting the people, whose interests it is supposed to represent, rather than Taib’s family and cronies.

Private investors should also take note.  Any company considering purchasing logs or oil palm plantation land in the gangster state of Sarawak must henceforth stand warned.

If the timber or lands they are buying were obtained under Taib’s illegal legislation then from now on they purchase at their own risk.

Investors and buyers can no longer plead innocence!

~ Sarawak Report

Rafizi to sue Sarawak for barring him from entering the state

BY DIYANA IBRAHIM
APRIL 22, 2014
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said today he would sue the Sarawak state government for abuse of power after he was barred from entering the state for the second time yesterday.
Rafizi (pic) said besides filing his case at the Kuching courts, he would also scrutinise the Immigration Act in Parliament.
"The state government's action in barring me and other PKR leaders from entering the state is hampering Sarawak PKR's efforts for the party elections.
"Sarawak PKR requires the support and assistance of party leaders from all over Malaysia.
"That is why I am going to take legal action in Kuching as soon as possible," Rafizi told a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Tropicana today.
"I am also going to propose a check and balance mechanism in Parliament to prevent such incidents from occurring again."
Yesterday, Rafizi was stopped from entering Sarawak shortly after arriving at the Kuching International Airport at 6.20pm. On March 25, he had suffered a similar fate when he arrived at the airport in the late afternoon.
Rafizi said in yesterday's incident, he was informed by Immigration officers that he would not be allowed to enter Sarawak as long as his name remained on their blacklist which was allegedly issued by the Sarawak Chief Minister's office.
He added that the Immigration officer also informed him that strict instructions had been issued to enforce the ban on those who had been blacklisted with no avenue for compromise.
"This means that if I manage to enter Sarawak, the Immigration officers on duty will be also hauled in for dereliction of duty," Rafizi said.
Besides Rafizi, other prominent PKR figures who have barred from entering the state are Batu MP Tian Chua and PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. – April 22, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

Rafizi barred again, PKR condemns Adenan


Two Sarawak PKR leaders condemned their Chief Minister Adenan Satem not only for practising double standards in barring the entry of PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli into Sarawak last night, but for allowing racist and religious extremists into Sarawak.

Rafizi arrived about 6.20pm at the Kuching International Airport and was deported 30 minutes later by Immigration Department officers.

That was the second time Rafizi has been barred from entering Sarawak.

Last month, during the campaign for the Balingian by-election, he was barred from entry, together with PKR vice-president Tian Chua, Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin and secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution.

The ban on Zuraida was lifted when she arrived in Kuching last Saturday, but not on Rafizi.

Sarawak PKR chairperson Baru Bian (right) said: "Clearly, Adenan is practising double standards, and what he is doing is purely political.

"He appears to be more jittery in dealing with PKR leaders than the former chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.  I believe he is ill-advised by his political advisers."

Asked to comment on the same issue, Baru's colleague See Chee How, who is Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson, said Adenan was more concerned with keeping his position now and after the next state election.

'Be more concerned about racists'

"He is more concerned with keeping his position (as chief minister) as a result of the strong presence of the opposition, such as PKR, than threats posed by racist bigots and religious extremists to Sarawak's religious freedom and racial harmony.

"He should be more concerned with these racists and extremists," See said, pointing out that Adenan was clearly abusing his position as chief minister and head of the state security council.

See, who is the Batu Lintang assemblyperson, said Adenan had declared that he would bar religious extremists and racists from entering Sarawak in order to preserve its peace and its multi-racial harmony.

He expressed big surprise as to why Adenan had allowed Perkasa vice-president Zulkifli Nordin, who is known to be a religious extremist and a racial bigot, to enter Sarawak last Saturday.

"Perkasa leaders such as Zulkifli should have been barred instead of PKR elected MPs who are neither religious extremists nor racists," he said.

Even Ibrahim Ali can come in...

Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali, the man who wanted to burn the Malay versions of the Bible and has angered Christians on several occasions, was also allowed to enter Sarawak last month to attend to the establishment of Perkasa in Sarawak.

Perkasa is an extremist and racist non-governmental organisation that is closely linked with Umno and its leadership.

"Did Adenan take instructions from Umno to allow Umno member Zulkifli to enter Sarawak?

"Is Adenan only taking action against Pakatan Rakyat leaders on Umno's instruction? Or is it that the Immigration Department is just not bothered?

"Or are they (immigration officers) are only taking instructions from Umno to blacklist opposition leaders only?” See (left) asked

Zulkifli was one of those involved in the controversy over the use of the word 'Allah' and who had called for the resignation of PAS MPs who supported Christians the right to use the word 'Allah'.

In March last year, he was criticised for insulting and belittling Hinduism and questioning Hindu gods.

He had also made an insensitive remark on the death of Karpal Singh, for which he was condemned by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Meanwhile, comments posted on Facebook sites say PBB/Umno/Perkasa are of the same breed, all are “sheep in wolf’s skin”.

The local political parties once again proved their fear of Pakatan by using the immigration rights to their own advantage. "I wish they could do the same with the autonomy rights that benefit more people, including those in the state BN," said Mowe Batavia.

Gary Tay said: "This is but one of the many reasons we say that administration of Adenan is no different than that of Taib - long on preaching but short of practising."

Another commentator, Jimmy Adit, said: "Zulkifli Nordin in Sarawak? That certainly makes that talk about barring bigots and extremists the greatest joke of the century."

Meanwhile, political observers are keenly watching whether the PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim will be allowed in or not when he arrives in Kuching on Thursday.
~ Malaysiakini

Monday, April 21, 2014

Two native groups win appeal over NCR cases


Published: Sunday April 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday April 20, 2014 MYT 2:38:12 PM

MIRI: Two groups comprising minority folk from this division have triumphed in the Court of Appeal, which has affirmed that they have Native Customary Rights (NCR) over their land based on inherited customs or adat.
The Kedayan and Jati Mirik groups were represented by prominent land rights lawyer Baru Bian, who described the ruling handed down on Thursday as a “historic” one.
The first case involved three farmers of Kampung Selanyau in the Sibuti district, namely Abu Bakar Pungis, Salim Ebrahim and Sapur Ismail, who sued Tung Cheong Sawmill, the division’s Land and Survey superintendent and Sarawak government for trespassing on their NCR land. This came after the Land and Survey Department had issued a provisional lease to the sawmill to operate in their village, without their consent and without mention of compensation.
The three also sued on behalf of 150 other folk from the Kedayan community, who said they inherited their NCR status by virtue of adat as they had been living there since 1909.
The second case involved three natives of Kampung Bakam Miri, namely Karim Endut, Madanis Wahat and Asin Bujang who along with 90 others had sued Tung Cheong Sawmill, the division’s Land and Survey and Sarawak government.
The plaintiffs are from the Jati Marik community.
Both groups lost their cases at the High Court here last year, but they appealed afterwards.
Last Thursday, Court of Appeal judges Datuk Abdul Wahab Patail, Mohtarudin Baki and Mah Weng Kwai ruled in favour of the two native groups and overturned the High Court decision.
“This is the first time that the court affirms the adat of the Kedayan and Jati Mirik over NCR to their land. I hope the authorities and the sawmill do not appeal against this decision as that would imply that they do not respect the court’s ruling,” Baru told a press conference here yesterday.
The majority of the Kedayan and Jati Mirik communities, who are among the smallest ethnic groups in Sarawak, reside in the state’s northern region.
~ The Star